It's considered one of the most beautiful, breathtaking places in the United States, if not the world. But while the Grand Canyon has been the go-to destination for uncountable vacationing tourists (and thus the subject of far too many boring family gathering slide show presentations), the national park has its share of dark secrets. Grand Canyon legends abound, everything from ghost stories to Bigfoot encounters, UFO sightings, and even a murder (or several).
Furthermore, the Hopi people have numerous Grand Canyon myths in their folklore, in particular the belief that the valleys and caves hide the entrance into the land of the dead.Let's take a look at some of the wildest, most interesting, and downright chilling Grand Canyon creepy stories...
There's an Interactive Map of All Grand Canyon Deaths
In total, there have been 770 deaths in the Grand Canyon since 1869, though poor record-keeping and unreported murders, suicides, or accidents probably means the number is much higher than that. Still, for those curious about the grim details of every demise, there's a map for that. It's called Over the Edge, and you're able to click on any pinpoint on the map to read about the exact nature, as well as the date, of every Grand Canyon death on the books.
Rees Griffiths Still Walks His Favorite Trail
A trail foreman for the Grand Canyon, Reese Griffiths died while blasting out a portion of rock on February 6, 1922. Griffiths reportedly loved the canyon so much, he requested to be buried there, a request that was fulfilled. Apparently, this deep love extended into the afterlife for Griffiths as well: trail walkers and campers have reported seeing his ghost walking his favorite trail on numerous occasions.
There's a Guest Suite Inside a Cave That's Reportedly Haunted
The Grand Canyon Cavern Suite allows visitors to stay in a luxurious hotel room 220 feet below the earth's surface. While the set-up is certainly appealing, the numerous reports of hauntings in the room are not. Guests and paranormal investigators alike have reported rocks whizzing about of their own accord, strange noises and movements near the bed's headboard, dancing shadow figures and the sounds of chanting, amongst other spooky phenomena.It is also said the spirit of the cavern's discoverer, Walter Peck, haunts the suite's elevator.
Emery Kolb Kept a Skeleton in His Garage
Brothers Ellsworth and Emery Kolb opened a photography studio in the canyon's South Rim in 1904. The latter brother, Emery, made Grand Canyon his home for the rest of his life. After his death in 1976, a skeleton with a bullet hole in the skull's temple was discovered in his garage. Emery's daughter said her father had found the skeleton in the canyon sometime in 1931. He brought it home and began to reassemble it at the dining room table. Ever the shock artist, Emery loved to bring out the skeleton whenever he had guests over.